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Eat to the beat

The Brooklyn Paper

Just because Brooklynites are ga-ga for outdoor summer concert series, it doesn’t mean that bands prefer them to the confines of a nightclub.

“I like playing indoor shows, hearing the reverb and the natural sound of the guitars coming off of the wall,” said Britt Daniel, lead singer of Spoon. “Some people love nature — I like nature in doses.”

Daniel and his band mates will have to suck it up on Tuesday when the band plays a benefit concert for “Celebrate Brooklyn” at the Prospect Park band shell. (Brooklyn’s own White Rabbits will open.)

Daniel’s hesitance is understandable; at last year’s show in Battery Park, a torrential downpour left the outdoor venue muddy, soaked Spoon’s fans and almost cancelled the show. A break in the storm, however, gave the band a chance to briefly take the stage.

“That show was a really good one, and it was, I think, just because everybody there was saying, ‘No way this is happening,’” said Daniel. “Some people like that whole experience. They don’t get to roll around in mud enough here in the States. We kept going until it started raining again.”

Hopefully this time around, the weather will be more permissive. Besides playing the Prospect Park show, Daniel and his band mates — Jim Eno, Eric Harvey and Rob Pope — are hoping to spend a few extra days exploring the borough.

“I have a soft spot for Coney Island — something we’ve found is ‘Shoot the Freak,’” he said of the carnival game where contestants shoot their paintball gun at a moving, human target. “It’s bizarre and awesome. The Cyclone is pretty amazing, too.”

And beyond Coney Island, Daniel plans to revisit Williamsburg — a neighborhood he called home for a scant six months in the late 1990s.

“When I lived in Williamsburg, it was 1999, so it wasn’t quite as built up as it is now,” he said. “The plan was to see if I could get a job or if somebody would jump at putting out the record and neither of those things would happen, so I went back [to Austin, Tex.].”

Brooklyn’s loss turned out to be Austin’s gain. In 2001, the band released “Girls Can Tell,” its first full-length album after being dropped from its major label deal. The record broke the top 50 on the Billboard independent music charts, and made it clear to the rock world that — major label or not — Spoon was here to stay.

Over the next six years, Spoon released three more full-length records, including 2002’s “Kill the Moonlight” and 2005’s “Gimme Fiction,” both of which featured songs used on television shows like “The O.C.” and “Scrubs,” keeping the band in the spotlight. In 2007, it released “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga,” despite the fact that Daniel had relocated to Portland, Ore. and the band was working long distance. And this summer, the boys are headed back into the studio to start working on another record.

“We’re getting together to record for about a week before that show, so if we can work something out, that would be great,” said Daniel. “We’re just recording one song, just to get it under our belts and see how that feels.”

Long-time fans need not worry. Daniel claimed that new tunes or not, the band is ready to play songs all the way back to its earliest records.

“We might play a new song or two, but it’s likely we won’t,” said Daniel. “Either way, we’ll be playing off the last record and stuff going back all the way to [1998’s] ‘A Series of Sneaks.’”

And when the show in Prospect Park is over? Who knows? Daniel said the band has scheduled a break in its tour to hang out in Brooklyn for a few extra days.

“Whenever we’re there, we try to plan a few days off around it,” said Daniel. “I’ll try to figure it out by the time I get there.”

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Perry from Coney Island says:
Yeh...shoot the freek is awesome.
What is so awesome about a few hoodlums running a carny game BERATING and INSULTING people as they walk by their STAND....and what about the time the FREEK in SHOOT THE FREEK got his a$$ whipped by a guy walking by.....great one sided fight...
July 11, 2008, 5:13 am

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